Charlie Schlenker

News Director

GLT News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio and has won numerous state and national awards for journalism. He lives in Normal with his family.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police have made an arrest in the murder case of a Peoria woman in a motel on Brock Drive.

Officers had previously labeled the death of 27-year old Shannon Hastings suspicious.

Judith Valente / WGLT

Normal Mayoral Candidate Marc Tiritilli said he is conceding the contest to Mayor Chris Koos.

NCHS teacher Patrick Lawler

A group of Normal Community High School students has tried their hands at breaking the budget deadlock.

A group led by Social Studies teacher Patrick Lawler drove to Springfield to meet with General Assembly members.

McLean County Government

The Corporation for Supportive Housing is giving McLean County a $200,000 grant. The money will help analyze data from housing, homeless, healthcare and law enforcement agencies to help identify super-users of the system so they can be better treated and diverted from jail or prison.

CSH Program Manager John Fallon recently spoke with GLT about the importance of establishing supportive housing and delivering services in that space.

MVC

The Missouri Valley Conference President's Council has ratified the membership of Valparaiso University. All Valparaiso's sponsored sports will begin conference play in the fall of 2017.

That does not include football in which Valparaiso plays in the Pioneer League.

Destihl

Destihl Brewery has cut the ribbon on its new  $14 million production facility in north Normal.

The grand opening Saturday at the brewery north of Menards comes at a time craft brewing growth has begun to slow in the U.S. But, Giotto Troia of Destihl said his company's position remains enviable.

Alan Cleaver / Flickr

A 33-year old Brimfield man shot himself Tuesday afternoon on I-74 near Carlock. McLean County Coroner Kathleen Davis said Paul S. Smith died of a penetrating contact gunshot wound of the head.

The incident remains under investigation by the McLean County Coroner's office and State Police.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Police are investigating a suspicious death of a woman at a motel.

According to a news release, Bloomington Police and Bloomington Fire Rescue responded to a motel room in the 400 block of Brock Drive for an unresponsive person Sunday afternoon at about 12:26.

Illinois State University

State Farm Insurance is giving Illinois State University $3 million to grow the cybersecurity program. The money will create an endowed professorship in the School of Information Technology.
     
School of Information Technology Assistant Director Glen Sagers said ISU is poised to take advantage of one of the hottest areas in workforce growth.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Developers of the Grove subdivision and other community stakeholders are pushing back against the idea the City of Bloomington should not oversize a sewer line for an undeveloped area north of the Grove.

Opposition to the $300,000 project stems from a desire to return to compact development.

Bloomington Police

Bloomington Police have arrested four people in connection with alleged prostitution in the 800 Block of I-A-A Drive.

WGLT

Longtime WGLT Morning Edition Host Jim Browne, 65, passed away Saturday morning around 6 a.m. in hospice at Advocate BroMenn. He died after a lengthy illness.

Browne had a 45 year career in broadcasting at several radio stations including WGLT and WJBC in Bloomington Normal.

Empty field
Staff / WGLT

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police said they want to look at a next generation body camera product because the first one under review doesn't have enough battery life.

Cameras are supposed to have eight hours of recording time. But, some batteries are lasting only three hours. Chief Brendan Heffner said the law is ambiguous because it's not clear whether ten hours refers to recording capacity or battery life.

Sergeant Clayton Arnold is overseeing the pilot project of 12 officers using body cams. Sergeant Arnold said there are procedural hurdles to clear as well, such as deciding how much time to allocate for report writing with access to body camera footage.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington Police said they have arrested the man they believe is responsible for a shooting on Main Street last weekend.

The department said its Vice, Street Crime, K-9, Patrol, and Criminal Investigation units combined in a lengthy foot chase to catch 28-year old Fredd (correct spelling) Mitchell.

Staff / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly calls the news absolutely deplorable that there is a web site that offers trading of nude photos purportedly of Bloomington High School students.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A citizen review board for police will not be a slam dunk in Bloomington, if early council discussion is a guide.

Several Aldermen said they wanted to learn more about the options during a work session on the issue. A couple want to move ahead and have staff draft an ordinance. Alderman David Sage said he sees no case for the panel.

Bloomington Police Department

There have been three shootings in Bloomington in three weeks and all three resulted in leg wounds. Police say they don't feel there are any correlations.

The latest incident was early Sunday morning in the 600 block of North Main.

Staff / WGLT

The challenger in the Normal Mayoral race is extending his examination of voter signature cards beyond the seven precincts in the partial recount.

Marc Tiritilli has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to look at the other precincts and 4,000 voters who cast ballots in the April 4th contest. Mayor Chris Koos won the contest by 11 votes.

A former Bloomington High School Spanish teacher has admitted to second degree murder.

30-year old Sarah Mellor stabbed her 31-year old husband Mark in the chest during a struggle at a Carlock area campground in October.
    
Sarah Mellor has been in the Woodford County Jail since then and resigned her teaching position while in custody.

Mellor will be sentenced July 18. The sentence could range from 20 years in prison down to time served and probation.

Dr. Bernard Goitein / Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University

The head of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University says economic indicators suggest the Peoria area economy will keep on growing at a modest rate. Bernie Goitein said the Caterpillar layoffs have eased and other parts of the economy appear to be compensating.

"Local demand for housing has pushed new single family building permits up .8 percent in the quarter. So, you have this need for more housing. That's more construction and more construction jobs," said Goitein.

Merlin Mather

Urbana State Representative Carol Ammons received a warm welcome in Normal from members of the Indivisible 13 group. She held a listening session at the Normal Public Library.

Ammons is a Democrat who has formed an exploratory committee to run for Congress.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University will be trying to broaden international diversity on campus.

Many colleges have sought out international students to bolster revenues because those students typically pay tuition.

ISU President Larry Dietz said ISU probably should have done that years ago, but hasn't until now.

Dr. Bernard Goitein / Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University

A snapshot of the Peoria area economy shows stability.

The latest composite index out by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University shows a minor decline in activity, though it also shows the economy is still growing.

Staff / WGLT

The police chief in Normal said he's pleased with crime trends.

Rick Bleichner said so-called index crimes reported to the FBI declined modestly while the overall crime rate was down 8 percent last year.

Staff / WGLT

The State Tourism Director said Illinois is trying to concentrate on local makers to supplement destination locations for Illinois visitors.

Cory Jobe said that includes things like Funks Grove Maple Sirup, Epiphany Farms farm to fork food, craft brewers like Destihl, and distillers.

Isabella Rodriguez / WGLT

A partial recount in the Normal Mayoral race did not suggest any big errors in the 11 vote win by Mayor Chris Koos.

Challenger Marc Tiritilli will have to decide whether there is anything in the recount or his examination of voter signatures that could convince a judge to order a full recount. His deadline to file suit in circuit court is May 25th.

Facebook

Another in the rolling series of healthcare protests has happened in Bloomington.

Progressives held a "die-in" outside the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University Trustees will consider a bigger sticker price than expected for a dining area expansion at Watterson Towers Commons.

The board will take up a resolution to increase the estimated budget for the project from $8.5 million to $11 million. 

ISU Athletics

The Missouri Valley Conference is trying to make up for the loss of Wichita State.

The Conference President's Council is inviting Valparaiso University into the MVC.

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